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Vitamin E Vitamin E
Powerful Biological Antioxidant!

"DID You Know"
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation!


What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in eight different forms. Each form has its own biological activity, which is the measure of potency or functional use in the body. Alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol) is the name of the most active form of vitamin E in humans. It is also a powerful biological antioxidant. Vitamin E in supplements is usually sold as alpha-tocopheryl acetate, a form that protects its ability to function as an antioxidant. The synthetic form is labeled "D, L" while the natural form is labeled "D". The synthetic form is only half as active as the natural form.

Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. Free radicals damage cells and might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer [5]. Unshared electrons are highly energetic and react rapidly with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). The body forms ROS endogenously when it converts food to energy, and antioxidants might protect cells from the damaging effects of ROS. The body is also exposed to free radicals from environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. ROS are part of signaling mechanisms among cells.

Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism. Free radicals can damage cells and may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Studies are underway to determine whether vitamin E, through its ability to limit production of free radicals, might help prevent or delay the development of those chronic diseases. Vitamin E has also been shown to play a role in immune function, in DNA repair, and other metabolic processes.

What are the benifits of Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and an essential nutrient crucial for good health. When taken as recommended, Vitamin E offers a variety of health benefits, including the ability to maintain cardiovascular health and immune function. It also provides powerful antioxidant support, and supports prostate health. Vitamin E occurs naturally in many foods, but some people, including those on low-fat diets, may not be meeting the recommended daily intake for Vitamin E. Therefore, taking a supplement can be a good choice.

Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Vitamin E deficiency is rare and overt deficiency symptoms have not been found in healthy people who obtain little vitamin E from their diets. Premature babies of very low birth weight (<1,500 grams) might be deficient in vitamin E. Vitamin E supplementation in these infants might reduce the risk of some complications, such as those affecting the retina, but they can also increase the risk of infections.

Because the digestive tract requires fat to absorb vitamin E, people with fat-malabsorption disorders are more likely to become deficient than people without such disorders. Deficiency symptoms include peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. People with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or an inability to secrete bile from the liver into the digestive tract, for example, often pass greasy stools or have chronic diarrhea; as a result, they sometimes require water-soluble forms of vitamin E, such as tocopheryl polyethylene glycol-1000 succinate.

How much should be taken? Are there side effects?

The Hopkins meta-analysis has not convinced us that vitamin E is dangerous. If you’ve been taking E pills, don’t fear that you’ve harmed yourself on the basis of this paper. Many researchers have raised questions about the way the analysis was done. Much of the press coverage overstated the results.

Moreover, there has been no solid evidence of harm from vitamin E. Of the 19 studies in the analysis, only one found a statistically significant risk. Three other recent meta-analyses on E found no increased risk. And after evaluating hundreds of studies, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, which devises the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) and safe upper limits for nutrients, concluded that the upper limit for vitamin E is 1,000 milligrams (about 1,500 IU) a day. It set the RDA, however, at just 15 milligrams (about 23 IU) a day. For very active athletes as much as 1,200 to 1,500 IU per day has been recommended by trainers and researchers.

Recent Studies

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Scientists are investigating whether, by limiting free-radical production and possibly through other mechanisms, vitamin E might help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.

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